“TRYING to breathe after it,” said Matthew Twomey after an epic Munster senior final in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
Double extra-time before Cork finally saw off Clare in a pulsating clash.
“It went both ways, everyway. Normal time, I thought they made it very hard for us, we couldn’t get into our game at all, and we were very lucky to come out with a draw.
“To pull it to a draw we were delighted with them, we went three points up in extra-time and they pulled us back again. They’re a savage team, a very well-trained team but you have to be very happy with the character of our lads. They never gave up and it came well for them in the end.”
For long periods Clare looked very good?
“Yeah, we played them at the start of the league, and they made it very hard for us. We pulled away but there today they were in our face. They knew how to stop our play which was concerning for us in one way but an eye-opener for us that we’ve to rectify.
“This is Clare’s third week on the go. To go all the way to the end from them today was incredible in fairness.”
There were some big moments from Cork. Chloe Sigerson’s and Katrina Mackey’s levelling scores were superb.
“Chloe’s incredible because she’s had a very tough pre-season. She’s gone through the wars, but she pulled us out of it when we were dead and buried against Kilkenny and again today. She’s a fierce character, nerves of steel and great to have around the place as well.
“Katrina’s point was unbelievable. She’s always a big game player. As she was running for the ball she was nearly cramping up. A super score. She came off there, she couldn’t give anymore. Ashling Thompson the same. They gave everything they had.
“Kate Wall made a big difference when she came on as well.
"I thought Meabh Murphy at corner-back was absolutely outstanding. She’s only 18-19 years of age. Under that kind of pressure for a young one, so that’s a massive plus for us.”
Another plus was the return of Orla Cronin.
“Orla glides around the field. She’s very intelligent and took up positions where we should have given her the ball. It was great to have her back.”
The positives outweighed the negatives.
“We got sucked into a game that we didn’t want to play and that’s something we spoke about avoiding both before the game and at half-time. The positives — we came back a few times from the death. I think we used four or five subs there again today on top of what we’re missing so we’re gaining huge experience. The positives far outweigh the negatives.”